'Misters' ease the heat for clients of Union Station Homeless Services

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As temperatures across LA breeze (not literally) by the 100 degree mark, everyone is left baking. But those without permanent homes are far more likely to feel the heat.

Union Station Homeless Services is hoping to provide a little relief, welcoming daytime visitors with a cool, constant mist spraying its shaded patio.

The non-profit agency added the “misters” a few years ago, says station director Ryan Izell.

"We wanted to make sure people were comfortable," says Izell. "We don’t have a lot of indoor space and on some days we can have upward of 200 folks around. So we want to make sure people have a place to get access to services — stay cool, stay hydrated — and the misters really help us do that."

Deborah Tinsley hung out under the mist, considering how the day would be without the center. On Thursday, a court discharged her from a drug and alcohol treatment program that also provided housing.

"Nowhere to go, out in the sun... can’t really walk that much," Tinsley says. "I can’t even think of what I would do. I’d almost die."

Tinsley is one of 56 people the center can house for the night. But during a hot day, it might offer cold water, food, and shade to three times as many guests. Center Director Ryan Izell says many arrive sunburned.

"Yeah, if anybody has extra sunscreen out there, our folks can definitely use it," Izell says.

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